The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Searching for Scalini

Franko's picture

Searching for Scalini

When I was a kid I had a friend who's parents had emigrated from Italy to Canada and found their way out to the West coast , settling in our neighbourhood in Vancouver, B.C. The mom, Momma Noni, used to make this simple but amazing pastry that was called scalini if I remember correctly. It was a strip of a flaky dough that had a honey glaze of some kind and flavoured with ...lemon ??  I'm not sure , it was back in the 60's and there's been a lot of road in between then and now, but I'm wondering if any of our members have ever heard of it . I know I could Google it but I'd rather hear from anyone on TFL if they know anything about it ..and maybe even a recipe.



Caperchick's picture

Hello Franko:

Do you remember if this treat you so fondly remember was fried? I have a recipe for Cenci that may be similar.  It is a recipe from Elizabeth David's " A Book of Mediterrainean Cooking".  Though E. David used sugar in her recipe, perhaps your Italian Baker brushed the cookies with honey.  Do you know what part of Italy your friends were from?  That may narrow the search for you as your cookies may be a regional treat!


  1. 1/2 LB of flour
  2. 1 oz. butter
  3. 1 oz. cator sugar
  4. 2 eggs
  5. A few drops of cognac
  6. Pinch of Salt
  7. Grated Lemon Peel

"Make a rather stiff paste with all the ingredients.  Work it well with the hands and then leave it to rest for a little, wrapped in a floured cloth.  Take a small piece at a time, and roll out very thinly, like paper.  Cut into shapes--bows, crescents, plaits, or diamonds, etc.  Make an incision in each biscuit with a knife.  Dip them into a pan of hot fat, turn immediately and then take them out.  When they are cool, sprinkle them with castor sugar. 

This quantity makes a very large number.  Half quantities would be enough for 6 people."

Regards from another Canuk...............Lyn from Cape Breton NS


Franko's picture

Hi Lyn,

It seems to me that they may have been fried but it's just too long ago to remember exactly. I've no idea what region of Italy the Noni family was from unfortunately, but this recipe you've so kindly sent is a really good starting point . Later this week I'll try it out and let you know how it compares to what I remember of Mrs. Noni's . Thanks very much for sending this to me Lyn, much appreciated. How's your summer been back East this year?


Caperchick's picture

Hello Franko:

We are having a fantastic summer in Cape Breton.  Hot days and it seems to only rain at night, who could ask for anything more!

I know what you are going through remembering and searching for a recipe from your childhood.  I searched for years for the recipe for a Greek custard phyllo dessert that I used to have with a lovely Greek family I babysat for many moons ago.  I found it and it lives up to my expectations and remembrances.  YUM...!!!..Gelatoboureko.......I'm sure the spelling is wrong but it's my favourite dessert.  Must make it this week!!!

I'm sure there are lots of Italian Bakers on this site who will help you out and hopefully you'll find the exact recipe you're searching for.  I'll keep looking in my many cookbooks but it may take some time.


alabubba's picture
Caperchick's picture


Dear Alabubba:

Ευχαριστώ (Thank you) for the spelling lesson! No matter how you spell it, this dessert is divine!

My Greek Recipe spells it without the first "k".


genie's picture


I wonder if you are thinking of scalidi.  I have six recipes for scalidi, my all time favorite Christmas cookie.  My parents are from Tuscany but in my hometown, there were a good many southern Italians from Calabria and these families were the ones who always seemed to make them.  My sister made the best ever and I will share her recipe. 

You may want to cut the recipe down because she made them to share with so many friends and family members but I will give it just as she gave it to me.

3 dozen egg yolks (yolks only) beaten at least 15-20 minutes,

1/2 c. butter

1/4 c sugar

2 1/2 c. flour

1 heaping tsp. baking powder

about 1 1 tbp. whiskey; just don't make them too wet.  Dough will be sticky.

Oil your finertips.  Pinch off enough dough to form

Franko's picture

Hi genie,

It sure sounds close doesn't it? It just may be that I've been remembering the name wrong all these years. Thanks very much for responding and sending the recipe. Unfortunately the last part of the recipe wasn't included so I'm not sure how it should be baked... or maybe fried. When you have a moment would you mind sending the rest of it along?

Many thanks,


midwest baker's picture
midwest baker


11 egg yolks
1 whole egg
2 Tbsp. Sugar
2 Tbsp. Melted butter, cooled
1 Tbsp. Vanilla flavoring
1 tsp. Baking powder
pinch salt

Have eggs at room temperature. Beat yolks and whole egg in electric mixer
until thick and lemon colored (about 25 minutes). Add sugar slowly, salt
and anise when eggs have beaten about 15 minutes. When eggs are done, add
cooled butter. Mix baking powder with a little flour, add to egg mixture.
Continue adding flour a little at a time until you form a medium-firm
dough. Knead till smooth and elastic and forms blisters on surface. Oil
surface of dough, cover and let rest for 1/2 hour. Roll into pencil or
rope-like shapes. Cut into about 6 inch pieces and tie in loose knot or
pretzel-like shape. Fry in deep fat til golden brown. When cool, dip
individually into boiling honey to glaze.

Franko's picture

Thanks for sending this recipe. It looks like it may be the one although I think I'd substitute lemon for the anise flavour. The boiled honey glaze sounds right on the mark from what I remember of them. I'll give it a try.

All the best,


StephDK's picture

I come from an Italian family.  I remember these tasty desserts being a part of my earliest childhood memories.  My Italian aunts would all get together at my grandma's restuarant and make these and chinolillies!  YUM!

They are fried and are covered in honey.  The ingredients are very simple and are as follows:

24 eggs

24 tbs melted shortening

2 c sugar

2 tbs vanilla

2 heaping tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

flour to make dough soft

Combine eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt and baking powder.  Add melted shortening.  Stir in enough flour to make a soft dough.  Pinch off a small amount of dough and roll into three strings; braid. Place braided cookies on floured counter and cover with damp cloth (they must be kept moist!). When finished braiding, deep fry until golden brown.  Let cool and dip in boiling honey.




(There seem to be a few variations of this and a couple different names, but I bet they all taste delicious!)

Franko's picture

Thanks Stephanie!

I like the braiding idea and the recipe sounds terrific.